tv MSNBC Live MSNBC December 26, 2012 8:00am-9:00am PST
and feel like a green giant. ♪ ho ho ho ♪ green giant good morning, everybody. i'm thomas roberts. topping the agenda today president obama mays malalo to hawaii and aloha to washington, d.c. heading back and we're now six days and counting until the country sees the business end of the economic brink and taxes going up for all americans. so far, there's been no call for the house to get back to the hill. senators return to the capitol tomorrow. the question remains krks the president join congress and surf the rough political waters to get a deal in time? >> i think he's doing all he can and calving hell at the same time and there's give, give. i think it's very, very difficult, particularly after boehner's plan "b" failed.
>> the key issue i think and the american people are catching on is that the problem that we have is we have a right wing political figure in the house way, way, way out of touch of what the american people are thinking. there's early economic sinls that the uncertainty over the cliff may have clayed the role of scrooge this holiday season. early holiday numbers point to the worst year to year growth since 2008. i think the president is steward of this economy needs to try to reach the big compromise with speaker boehner and the two men came very close. >> all right. let's check in and say good morning to nbc news correspondent mike vi cara now. >> they have indicated they would be back on the 27th and doing the math and take in to account the time zone differences, the president will be arriving back in washington. wheels down on the white house sometime in the late morning tomorrow. one problem, there won't be a
house of representatives session. it appears to greet him when he gets back. and john boehner, the speaker out house, the individual with whom the president is negotiating for, gosh, a year and a half now and trying to do a lot of things and trying to avert the fiscal cliff, no plans announced for him to return to washington. the house of representatives, their public stand, the republican leadership at any rate is that it is up to the senate to act. and the president before he left for hawaii last friday pointed out that there is a senate bill. he said he'll try to get a smaller bill and does what he said all along and raise tax rates on those couples filing jointly making more than $250,000 a year and extending unemployment benefits, something that is very important to a lot of americans who have been out of work for a very long time. one problem there, thomas. the very same bill or very near identical bill passed the senate last summer and languishing in the house of representatives. the threshold question has been and remains will the house of
representatives stroet do something that a majority of republicans would go against? highly unlikely, thomas, and more and more likely to head over the cliff. for a few days, at least. >> going over the 2012 mike-isms and according to my list, you have given the date of january 11th as the date that we should be looking for, right? >> reporter: i updated it to january 10th. 11th is a friday and members try to get out of town on a friday. here's what it's pointing to for quite sometime. you know the rule republicans never put a republican or democratic speaker put a bill on the floor without a majority of majority. that still holds true and held true for almost the entire length of the republic. this is not new. don't expect boehner to put something on the floor that raises taxes on anybody. he couldn't do it for anybody making more than a million dollars. so what are we left with? going over the cliff, tax rates go up for everybody and then a
vote, a vote to cut taxes for 98% of americans. instead of a vote to raise taxes for 1% of americans and it makes much more likely to get republican support. they can make it retroactive to january 1st, fix a lot of things that are going to go haywire if we go past january 1st without a deal, thomas. >> mike, great to see you. thank you, sir. want to bring in the political power panel for this wednesday morning, lynn sweet, keith boykin and alice stewart. great to see all of you here. post-merry christmas to everybody. i want to start by showing the latest gallup information on what americans are feeling right now, gang. about the fears of the fiscal cliff. deal likely at 50%, deal not likely at 48%. and this is gone down continually as we have seen, lynn, over several days, whether more optimism before the christmas holiday and continues to evaporate the closer to the
cliff but talking about what the president can do coming back, can it about a small stop gap measure to save people after the 1st? >> it could be and i've always thought that the they know if they don't at least do a stop gap which is in their power, therefore, they would probably do it. it means that the december deadline, december 31 deadline that's looming may not really be the deadline. i think it's more like january 3rd, noon, when the new congress is sworn in. that's when they have to do their math to see where do they have -- if there's any hope of a deal, a democratic deal, where you need 20, 30 min votes or true bipartisan deal and no one thinks will happen. now people are just working some numbers to see which would work best if you don't get anything by the end of the year. >> alice, based off what lynn is saying, making this the 113th
congress's problem, olympia snowe says it's a whole new equation and not that easy to put the genie back in to the bottle here. do you agree with that, that maybe this is the 113th's problem opposed to 112th's? >> i do think it's a problem of the next congress. and one thing that we will have to consider will be a more moderate congress and an opportunity far little bit more compromise but the truth is i think the president is hoping to go over the fiscal cliff. he can enact tax increases, cut defense spending and blame it on the republicans. the problem is we have had harry reid and the senate democrats haven't passed a budget plan in three years and they're looking at just raising taxes. we need to seriously address the spending in this country and we haven't had that from the democrats. we have to have that for things to pass. really get this deficit under control. >> all right. so keith, that was a loud sigh that you just gave. >> you heard that? >> i think everybody at home just heard that. so you obviously do not agree
with alice's assessment there. i want to show debbie wasserman-schultz's quote. no 48-notice on house votes just yet. the president has a lot to gain politically with the blame on republicans for letting all of the country go over the cliff and the fact that they seem to hold on with the death grip for millionaires in this country. >> the republicans will be blamed it seems according to the polls going over the fiscal cliff but the president is responsible and wants the deal. he's been trying to negotiate by making reasonable concessions. lowered the revenue number. he's increased the tax limit from $250,000 to $400,000. the guy made all kinds of concessions. the republicans refuse to do anything to come to the table with a concession. that's not how you negotiate. the problem isn't the democrats.
it's from my perspective, not surprised i will say this, we have a dysfunction congress, particularly the republicans in congress because on the house side they have a silly majority, the majority rule, which is nowhere in the constitution to have a majority of the majority. all you need is a majority of the house. and then in the senate side, willing to filibuster. nothing in the constitution saying you need 60 votes to pass anything. this is anti-democratic. let's get a deal done. the american people need this and won't blame the president. they'll blame the people who aren't willing to make a compromise. >> this is something we know that our elected leader haves to get done and don't have hope for getting something done is on gun control in this country, although the conversation still wages on. fresh in the news is the fact that four firefighters were basically used as target practice for this person in webster, new york. two were shot and killed on christmas eve in upstate new york. there's the suspect right there. william spangler spent time in
prison for murdering his grandmother. he shouldn't be access to weapons at all. police say that he left a note behind saying he was doing what he liked to do best, killing. they think in the burned remains to find his sister. they have found human remains but they haven't said whether or not it is his spangler's sister or lot. lynn, the fact that we're talking about this, do we do it now through the prism of newtown? he had also a weapon, the ar-15 rifle, one of the weapons that spangler used. do we look at it through the prism of newtown? >> newtown, virginia tech, columbine, northern illinois shootings, how many more do we need? so, you know, it's been said that newtown now might be the so-called tipping point. the -- i don't see yet and this will be an issue for the new congress coming in, because i can't imagine anything done in the lame duck session. what if i were wrong, that would be glad if there were some
measures put in. i'm out front about that. the dynamic, i think, essentially has sadly probably not changed to spur congress to take action quickly on this. i'd like to be wrong on that. >> all right. so representative ron paul of texas distanced himself on monday from the nra proposal to put more armed guards in our nation's schools and paul said on his website it's another kind of violence. how do you think this conversation can be had logically in the new year if that's the only option that the nra wants to put on the table as a meaningful solution? >> well, i think that tragedy we just heard about in new york is further evidence of the fact that criminals and mad men do pay attention to the gun laws. that man was not supposed to have access to guns yet he did. in response to your conversation you had with my friend jack kingston, we should not be
complacent to go to schools to be assassinated ed but the fac we need to protect our children and guns in schools should be decided at the local level but the mad men and criminals, no amount of gun control and restricting access and tightening the gun laws will stop a criminal from doing what he intends to do but putting an armed guard in the school, local schools feel that's the thing to do, we need to protect our children and one way to do it now. i do strongly believe that decision should be made at the local level but since newtown happened, we need to look at gun control and treating the mentally ill and the influence of the entertainment industry. >> keith, the last word. you have a microphone on. we can hear you groaning. >> sorry. i think the nra argument seems to be gun control isn't perfect. won't stop all crime so let's not have any gun control but if you applied that to anything else, you substitute gun for anything else, like drugs, for
example, nobody would say, drug laws are imperfect. so let's not have any laws against drugs. the idea you can't create a perfect law so criminals get access and make it easy for them doesn't make sense. the point of gun control is to make it more difficult to get the weapons. why reason earth would we make it easier for them? >> no perfect answers for this and probably continue to debate this in the new year. my thanks to you all three. lynn, keith and alice, i appreciate all of your time. >> thank you. next, a not so merry cliff-mas for retailers or wall street. how the stalled negotiations are already impacting this economy. and a big question to you, are you optimistic that congress can reach a post-christmas fiscal cliff deal? tweet me. find me on facebook. people really love snapshot from progressive, but don't just listen to me. listen to these happy progressive customers. i plugged in snapshot, and 30 days later,
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as we have been talking about, taxes could go up for everybody but for weeks now washington's inability to come to agreement over fiscal cliff negotiations is weighing on the minds and the wallets of consumers. in the two months leading up to christmas sales of electronics, clothing, jewelry and home goods grew by .7%, the lowest since the recession of '80s. and unless lawmakers strike a deal at the 11th hour analysts predict that the economy could fall in to another recession next year. joining me now is rick newman, the author of "rebounders." rick, good to see you again. >> hi. >> that's the biggest concern right now, talking about the recession, you know, the one that we have been tiptoeing our way out of could come booming back with the fears leveled against us with the fiscal cliff
but looking at what the real effect is going to be for average americans, january 1st, bush tax cuts expire. average family seeing a $2,200 tax hike. an increase in the payroll because the payroll tax will expire. and learning unemployment insurance and loss of 2.1 million jobs through the next year. not everything happens all at once, though. there's kind of a time period. >> yeah. >> that's built in to this. >> that's one big gloomy list, isn't it? >> yeah. not fun. >> i think people have been over the last few weeks it sounds so terrible that congress couldn't possibly let it happen and it is hard to believe that now. six, five days away and now looking at some of the things are going to go in to effect so this could absolutely cause problems. but it can cause a whole range of problems. that money, it's like that money will come out of people's pockets on january 1st. that's not what's going to happen but the tax rates go up
and then in to a very messy situation. congress, down the road quould say, okay, we're putting a tax rates back to where they were but retra active. a nightmare for irs and potentially chaotic and a sense that congress could resolve it today if they chose to. it's the fact for political reasons they won't resolve the problem in a logical way and blundering in to this chaos. >> outside of school but there's lots of americans living paycheck to paycheck and dollars are accounted for. >> absolutely, yeah. you don't have $50 or $100 per paycheck to set aside in case they blow it in washington. that's absolutely true and people who run businesses saying, you know, we would like to do some spending here. we would like to make plans for 2013 but we don't know the most basic things like the tax rate. they're not doing anything. >> looking at wall street, investors there expecting a quick deal to come. no deal in sight.
as we look at what wall street is closing out q-4 to be, are they optimistic and everybody looks, ceos looking at 2013 -- >> manic right now in wall street because there are legitimate reasons for stocks to rise. i mean, some things are starting to go the right way. the housing market is recovering, for instance. economists are saying the second half of 2013 might look pretty good but we have to get over the one big problem first. you have a kind of a nightmare scenario or a pretty good scenario and that's why we have sort of seen the stock market vacillating in between and they know how -- investors know how serious the problem is. very hard to solve the problems and most part not expecting a big deal. they're expecting that it happens mostly in 2013 and they will expecting something, a sort of down payment at the end of this year and if we don't see even that, that's when you see perhaps a 3%, 5% decline in the stock market. lots of pessimism. i mean, the upside is some people say it's going to take a stock market plunge to trigger
an action in washington to maybe that's a good thing. hard to figure out how to play it. >> what's the option for the new year? >> let's not have it go in to effect at once. congress could do all sorts of things and putting off the tax rates going up for another year or put it off for three months or can't deal with it in a lame duck or extend the deadline. they could easily do that but they haven't done that so far and if they can't actually resolve the issues, the sort of last resort outcome might be, let's just delay the whole thing for a few months. >> author of "rebounders," rick newman, thank you. >> thank you. >> as always. the weather outside was certainly frightful for much of the country. storms all the way from oklahoma to pennsylvania. blizzard, snow, sleet, rain and tornadoes, too. what the wicked weather has already done and what lies ahead. plus, actor ben affleck makes a big decision about a possible run for the u.s. senate
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we can live without the &. visit sprint.com/drive. here's a look at the other stories topping the news for you. the hawaii governor is expected to name a successor to the late senator inouye today. former president george h.w. bush spent christmas in the houston hospital with his family after developing a fever and had some chinese food for dinner. apparently a bush family tradition. doctors say they want to keep the 88-year-old there until he covers his strength. workers at detroit's two biggest car makers are getting big bonus checks this year. they say that gm and ford workers will get profit sharing checks between $5,500 and $8,000 in march. and a record box office year for movie makers. hollywood is on pace to rake in $10.8 billion for 2012.
attendances up 5% over last year flocking to the blockbusters like "ifthe avengers." massive storm causing cancelations and it is now headed east. we'll tell you the details about this monster storm next. am in 1. over the south pacific in 1943. i got mine in iraq, 2003. usaa auto insurance is often handed down from generation to generation. because it offers a superior level of protection, and because usaa's commitment to serve the military, veterans and their families is without equal. begin your legacy, get an auto insurance quote. usaa. we know what it means to serve.
♪ green giant a huge winter storm that dumped snow and sleet in the middle of the country and left at least three dead is making the way to the northeast. heavy snow and blizzard conditions are expected to make a really tough day for traveling around the country, especially for those that are trying to return from the holidays. more than 1,100 flights have been canceled between yesterday and today and that number is expected to rise as the storm hits the new york area later this afternoon. in the south, bringing more tornadoes like this one which touched down in mobile, alabama, on christmas day. destroying several homes. weather channel's jim cantore live for us in mobile and joins us now. obviously, the sun is out and
completely different now but explain why the monster system brought such a different batch of unexpected weather to certain places. >> reporter: well, we haven't had any big cold air masses in the east. so, you know, unless the gulf which is our fuel source is cooled off by a cold front, we can just take it as much as we want and that's what this storm did. came down, scooped up moisture, got warm and the jet stream came over and tornadoes that caused damage. this is a parish here, this is a an episcopal church. looking at the roof damage. you see a couple pieces of roof gone. that's not too bad. look how massive the church is and the top layer here, completely twisted by the tornado. all right? so that's going to have to be removed and rebuilt in through here. trees, power lines, damaged throughout mobile. we may have a four to five-mile
path here but alabama power have been out all evening and morning getting some 40,000 people back online. 40,000. think about it. it's christmas. they're probably on reduced staff. all right? doing a nice job in through here. see what's going onful earlier on, looked like zip lines over my head. they can taken the lines up, moving the poles and the debris and expect power to be back on on this street by tonight. amazing. there's damage and at least right here on this block it is minor. we have, again, some shingles taken off, a roof damage off beyond the trees here. extensive on the homes and windows blown out and some of the facade off the roof is gone so that's a little bit more extensive. but there's also a snowy side as we talked about. up in to kentucky, huge, huge snow maker last night. people getting out this morning. thomas, as much as 18 inches of snow fallen already. much of that this morning in southern indiana.
it's also been accompanied by thunder. thundersnow in southern indiana and heading to the northeast and you mentioned, too, flight delays and cancelations. how do you make up the space with more and more travelers and not many empty seats? back to you. >> jim cantore from mobile, alabama, thanks so much. i appreciate it. president obama is leaving the first family in hawaii. he's cutting the vacation short to return to washington, d.c. hopefully to restart the negotiations over those job killing spending cuts and tax hikes set to take effect in the new year. joining me now is congressman gregory meeks, democrat of new york and serves on the financial services committee. i told you if anything goes off or need to rush out of here because you have gotten a call back to d.c. you let me know. plirt coe reporting today, as of christmas day, they do not have the standard warning to come back to washington to resolve the so-called fiscal cliff. it's boehner and other gop leaders aren't going to herd 433
lawmakers back to town with nothing to do. when you hear that, and you know what's been going on and what's expected of you in the new year, what are your hopes for something small, maybe not as ambitious as a grand bargain but something small getting done before january 1st? >> i would like to see a grand deal. but we should do something. too many people hurt, folks i have gotten several calls from individuals. talking about christmas dinner, individuals, even in my home who are unemployed saying that, you know, unemployment runs out if we don't do anything. i have some others talking about scenario they would be placed in and had to explain to them what would or would not happen on january 1st. i'm hoping to do something and the speaker comes up with something so his folks agree on to keep america and americans moving forward. >> as we talk about when's taken
place in washington, d.c. and speaker boehner's plan "b" that didn't get any liftoff off ground to be brought to the floor for the vote, what's the sense that why speaker boehner can't get the cause kus together to support something that apparently americans in a loud voice do support, that's raising taxes on the wealthiest of americans in because that's how president obama ran the campaign and got re-elected. >> you know what? i'm scratching my head. sometimes say to -- feeling sorry for speaker boehner, i guess. 25, 30 of the tea partiers primarily who just won't listen to the speaker and he thought that he had the votes or twist arms to get the vote and made -- bold announcement before to put the vote on the floor. and he could not do it. and so, i've listened to some of those 20 and 25 individuals and listened to their rational is what has been me a little worried about a deal getting
done. busine does boehner get some leverage after january 1st? some were defeated in the election. does he get more leverage than now or not? i don't know. but i'm hopeful that maybe doing this break like i was having christmas dinner with some, they were having dinner with some relatives and telling them, go back, agree upon something because the country built upon compromise. >> if we get something small done in the short term, because the window of time left is so lessened, with the 113th congress coming in, do you hope that maybe something will be -- the onus is on the 113th for something grander. >> that's my hope. we can't continually be put in the position of being held hostage. when the big deal was done, we were talking about raising the debt ceiling. you don't want to do a little deal and then come back and the same thing in the end of february talking about the debt ceiling debate and then keeps
the instability that takes place in the markets, in throughout the country and for people. we need a big deal so folks know what the rules are, what the taxes are, you know, that they're going to have the unemployment insurance, so that we can move forward and people make plans. you can't make plans in every two to three months and people saying, oh, unless i get my way, i hold that up. that has to stop. >> is that what we witnessed with plan "b" after cantor said that the votes would be there? but people like congressman hulles-camp and moved, purged from the fiscal committee and one of several purged srks that pay back to john boehner? >> look, if you're the speaker, you have a responsibility. people try to talk about the president in the president. well, the president, i think that, you know, democrats will have the president's back. will democrats be happy with everything that's in the deal? absolutely not.
so we should expect the republicans will not be happy with everything in the deal. but that's when you try to do what you have to do for the best of the country. the president's trying to strike a fair deal. he's moved. that's clear. he's moved and moved ways so that some of my colleagues who are in the more liberal wing, they're upset. but that's delegates us where to go so that america can move forward. >> a good compromise, they get the deal done and nothing vibrated or gone off? >> not yet. waiting. >> no call for you to go back to d.c. congressman meeks, thank you for being here. >> thank you, thomas. democrats in a scramble to hold on to the john kerry seat joining the obama administration next year and nominated to secretary of defense. this will be the state's second special election in two years to fill a senate seat and governor patrick has the job of picking an interim senator ahead of the special election to happen sometime in june. want to bring in frank phillips for "the boston globe."
good to have you here and starting with the short term now that we know that edward kennedy jr. is not going to run for this spot. there were reports that ted kennedy's wife and widow victoria might have interest in this, as well as speculation about the outgoing congressman barney frank saying that he would have -- be interested in this. politico in a new article today quotes frank as saying he is tired. but is the governor there tipped his hand to victoria kennedy or barney frank as an option? >> he hasn't. he has to make up his mind. he said he expects to appoint an interim who will not run for the seat. i think he's under pressure from democrats both in the national party and the u.s. senate, even in the white house that maybe that's not the best option. they have to have somebody in there to run and be able to hold this seat and try to avoid a divisive primary.
it's not a good situation. we've had this picture before with scott brown who does very well in special elections. he's the republican who stunned the world in 2010 and grabbed a seat. he lost it in the tough election this time around but in a special election, a low voter turnout, he'll be strong and we're not seeing much from the national democrats yet and i think they got a real problem here. >> frank, talk about that. because obviously if the democrats only -- and duval patrick wants someone interim in the post aend not run in the special election, wouldn't it make sense that person would gain the traction they need in a special election to face-off against someone with star power like scott brown? we look at the latest wbr poll with 58% favorable even after the bruising against elizabeth warren. do we know if he wants it?
>> we don't know officially. his father died a couple of days ago so all attempts to get to him is put off and you saw him election night, came out and gracious and talked about coming back, the sub text there was there's a special election and farewell address to the u.s. senate, last couple of weeks ago, he said the same sort of thing so obviously it would be a nice triumph for him personally. i think he'll take a look at it. perhaps ted kennedy jr. gotten in to it, somebody very sort of with star quality, he might have backed off and too hard. i think with the way the democrats are handling this so far, i think he would look at it and other analysts would have to say he's a very strong candidate to grab the seat. >> frank phillips, sir, great to see you. thank you for your time. >> it's a pleasure. armed and educating? parents and teachers question the nra's plan for armed police
officers in every school. plus, deal brewing? starbucks pushing congress to reach a deal on the fiscal cliff. wait until you hear about what they're doing to send encouraging notes to our elected leaders. are you optimistic that congress will meet a post-christmas fiscal cliff deal? [ male announcer ] this is sheldon, whose long dy setting up the news starts with arthritis pain and a choice. take tylenol or take aleve, the #1 recommended pain reliever by orthopedic doctors. just two aleve can keep pain away all day. back to the news. campbell's has 24 new soups that will make it drop over, and over again. ♪ from jammin' jerk chicken, to creamy gouda bisque. see what's new from campbell's. it's amazing what soup can do.
so as newtown, connecticut, recovers from the tragic shooting, police are across new england stepped in to give officers at the town's police department a day off to spend time with their families and that christmas is one of the millions the town received from all over the world after 20 children and 6 educators died in the massacre. and with students across the u.s. enjoying the break, a national debate is raging about whether more guns in schools would keep them safe in the wake of that massacre. right now, at least one new
jersey town plans to put armed police officers in all nine schools come the new year and politicians in states like virginia talking about giving teachers permission to carry guns. joining me now is dr. steve perry, host of "save my son." steve, good to have you here and hearing about what's gone in virginia and the possibility of teachers might be given permission to carry a gun in to the classroom. much of this debate has been fueled by the fact that the ceo of the nra said it's only going to take a good guy with a gun to stop a bad guy with a gun. are you worried about where this conversation is doing and that's the slippery slope, talking about stopping guns? >> absolutely. what we have done is allowed hysteria to step in and get us afraid of what was otherwise a safe setting. the american public schools are safe. approximately 70 million children went to school last friday and came home. their schools are not unsafe. in fact, whether it be virginia or new jersey, in my school in
hartford, we have ten different points of entry or exit as they're designed to carry the load of 700 children. you would have to post an armed guard at every single door and even if you did, if they came in with an assault rifle, with 30 rounds in the clip, they're going to shoot their way in to virtually any building in america. whether there are police officers over not. last time i checked in ft. hood, where there were many weapons, one person able to murder quite a few people. so if it could happen on an army base, then it could happen in a school. the last thing i want is my pre-k teacher strapped peering around the country trying to shoot down a hallway towards what is believed threat. >> one thing that we have, you know, in the debate that's gone on about this, looking at the financials of all of this. the economics and "slate" magazine ran the numbers. 100,000 public schools in u.s. average cop at $55,000, a low
end estimate overall at $5.4 billion. when we look at the financials of this alone, is that enough just to thwart guns, armed people in schools? is that enough to thwart that conversation? >> my hope is good sense is enough. we are laying off teachers and individuals in schools to make ends meet. so what we're going to do is we're going to let go of my math teacher to post a police officer by the back door, by the gym, in the hope that one day they'll be able to stop someone coming in? it doesn't make sense. to make our schools safer, let's make sure that our teachers are better prepared and the students better prepared because people who are better prepared for life less likely to do the foul things and hurt people. >> what about the other side of the argument, people looking at the urban school settings with an armed security force or private schools, very expensive, fancy private schools in this country that have security
forces there. why is the argument okay for them but not okay to look at for suburban public schools. >> as somebody that runs an urban school across the street from a liquor store and abandoned buildings, i won't feel safe if the officers had pistols. in addition to that, ask the people that run the schools and live in the communities. do you feel safe knowing in chicago 400 people murdered in the past year? do you feel safer in philadelphia, in many other places where these guns are in the schools? do those children feel safer? they don't. when i used to work in philadelphia's public school, i felt unsafe and we didn't have police officers, because we did, we had armed police officers in the building, and some schools they have complete substations in the building and i assure you, that those children don't feel any safer than the children in the schools without armed police officers. >> educator steve perry, great to see you. on tomorrow's show, mayor of new
jersey talking about the decision to put armed police in the schools. coming up tomorrow. could a cup of joe keep america from going over the fiscal cliff? wait until you hear this. starting today, starbucks employees in d.c. those area stores are being told to write come together on every cup of coffee they serve. they put your name and then come together. this is a message to lawmakers trying to sort out a deal. in a letter to employees, ceo of starbucks wrote, rather than be bystanders, i don't and your customers have an opportunity and i believe all have a responsibility to send our elected officials a respectful but potent message. the white house petition calling for piers morgan to be deported has signatures over the threshold to require a white house response. hard core, second amendment
supporters are slamming him. morgan who's british doesn't seem to be fazed and likes the attention and tweeted merry mist mass. even to those who want me deported. texas congressman ralph hall became the oldest person ever to serve in the u.s. house, beating the record set by north carolina representative charles manly steadman that died in office in 1930 at the age of 89 years old. voters elected hall last month to a 17th term with 73% of the vote. he is expected to turn 90 may 3rd and says he may even run again. one can only hope that santa parked the reindeer far from ted new gent's house this holiday. he is an avid hunter and angered animal rights activists for a tweet saying, we all louf young reindeer haunch with garlic and butter. it's such a treat. none of santa's deer reported missing. new years clutter is no match for someone with big ideas.
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we asked and you answered. the question, are you optimistic that congress will be able to reach a post-christmas fiscal cliff deal? not optimistic at all, not at all with the way the republicans and congress are acting right now, there's no way. from paul hyatt, yes, they will do it but always at the very last minute. paul asks what happened to statesman who work for the good of the people rather than their own agendas and pockets. keep the comments going, find us on twitter and facebook. we all heard today is one of the biggest shopping days of the year, but it's also a day when consumers try to ditch those gifts not on the christmas lists, but it's always not that easy. >> so who has the time to wait in the long line to return something? i'd rather be home eating a christmas cookie. >> if you don't have any kind of a gift receipt, they make a big
hassle about giving you store credit. >> despite the hassles, shoppers will return $62.7 billion in merchandise this holiday season. in florida for us this morning, joining to fill us in, how's it looking there, shoppers looking to collect on deals or return their gifts? >> reporter: it's really a combination. at the mall there are people out looking for the 50% off, but a lot of people bring in those gifts they didn't really want, you know, say something like a pair of really ugly boots their brother gave them, so for $52.76, you do the return, then you walk around with this $52.76 in your hands and see 50% off here and 60% off there, retailers enjoy today. they want to get that inventory off the shelves, so that's why they are not only discounting
the material, but they actually some of the people returning items will return an item and walk out with two or three and maybe spend a little bit more. this is not necessarily a bad day for retailers. it's just one that requires a lot of patience, because people show up sometimes with items without the receipts, and that can create the delay. >> did you just throw your brother under the bus for a bad christmas gift, did he give you those ugly boots? >> reporter: i warned him this was coming. >> hold those us for america to see, kerry sanders. they are not that bad, not that bad, a long pair of jeans over those things, you'll never see the tops. >> here's the funny thing, this is not my size, it's my brother's size and he wanted a pair of boots. what do you think is going on here? >> regifting. kerry sanders, appreciate it. that's going to wrap things up for me, see you back tomorrow at 11:00 a.m. eastern time. joining me then, perry bacon,
democratic strategist marg omero. ari melber is sitting in today, what's coming up? >> we got a good show. christmas may be over, but cliffmas is around the corner. will the politicians head back to d.c. with new holiday cheer? we do have the latest on the cliff and how it will effect your pocketbook with the new york times john harwood along with joy reid, catherine crier and new york mag's jonathan chait. plus, we're going to suggest the new debate over gun regulation could be different this time. and what about chuck? the former nebraska senator is too conservative for some democrats and now we're finding he's too obama-fied for some republicans. also, and you don't want to miss this one, a special look back at the best moments on 2012 on "now." all that when the show starts in three minutes. it's simple physi.
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